Adjunct faculty from colleges and universities around the country are holding teach-ins and rallies—and some will walk off the job—on Wednesday, demanding fair pay and better working conditions as part of the first-ever National Adjunct Walkout Day.
Adjunct appointments hark back to the days when teachers lived in rotation in their students' homes, that food and shelter being most of their pay.
I suspect that, like many other professions, teaching in the US is going to undergo BIG changes as the result of our getting rid of Capitalism. Credentialing will be different, lectures will be few, and many areas of study will effectively vanish under pressure of practical needs. I'll be very surprised if the tutorial and master-apprentice models aren't the main models used from elementary school upward.
The bean counters in public universities and community colleges, some dignify the as Deans, have their marching orders which come from politicians who are more concerned about keeping taxes low than a typing else. These politicians are put in office by a public that really does not respect education and does not want to spend more on it even if their own children are affected. You adjuncts take it on the chin because the powers that be are going to take it out on the least organized and most vulnerable part of academia that they can. It's not that they don't need you they do. It's just that they know they can get away with treating you badly and until you stand up to them collectively they will continue to do so. You would think that educated people like adjuncts would understand that, but apparently you don't. In Pittsburgh it is very hard to organize adjuncts or make them think about what it would take to make their lives better. You can make a moral argument that you should be treated better but when you confront the powers that control your terms of employment just remember that you are not dealing with moral people. The Deans serve their masters and feel very little guilt when trampling on you.
Great post Tom. We're workers. White collar...blue collar... doesn't matter. Those that are perfectly content - living in service to a ruling class - are dwindling in numbers as conditions keep worsening for the majority.